ENGLISH 360 - The Rise of the Novel
Fall 2020, Section 001 - The Rise of the Novel: An Environmental Approach
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
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It is a commonplace in literary studies to talk about the rise of the novel as essentially connected in a variety of ways to the rise of the autonomous, rights-bearing individual. In this class, we will vary this approach by thinking about the variety of ways that 'place' or environment inflect and condition the modern novel's representations of the individual. We will consider the novel as an implicitly ecological form, detailing the multiple relations of the human organism to various environments, including human-made settings, social formations, non-human natural contexts. Arguably, the modern novel's power as a literary genre derives as much from its depictions of place as it does from its representations of character. Or, to put this another way, the modern novel's charisma comes from the striking ways it represents how place shapes and is shaped by the individuals it helps to nurture and fashion. The dynamic relationship between identity and environment is critical to the appeal and significance of this genre.

In order to glimpse the beginnings of the modern novel, we will start out by reading excerpts of works by Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding. The heart of the course will be a set of great novels from the British and American contexts by such authors as Laurence Stern, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Herman Melville, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison. As the course proceeds, we will consider certain various accounts of the 'rise' of the novel, reading excerpts from theoretical and critical work by Georg Lukacs, Walter Benjamin, Ian Watt, Sandra Gilbert, Susan Gubar, Michael McKeon, Cathy Davidson, Jane Tompkins, and Toril Moi.

Intended Audience:

Online-only students are welcome!

Class Format:

Exams: Asynchronous and Online

Lectures: Synchronous and Online

Class Discussions: Synchronous and Online


ENGLISH 360 - The Rise of the Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM

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